Lidl unveils plans for £2.6m Northern Ireland supermarket
Lidl has announced plans to open a new £2.6m store at Holywood Exchange retail park close to Belfast City Airport, creating 26 jobs.
The German firm's proposal centres on a vacant 21,500 sq ft unit next to IKEA and Harvey Norman that was previously occupied by Wrights Sofa Land.
The eventual sales floor will total around 15,000 sq ft.
Lidl currently has 38 stores here, but it is quickly approaching the 40 mark, with a number of projects in the pipeline.
In March the chain opened up at The Junction retail complex in Antrim.
The same month it was granted planning permission to build a new foodstore in Newcastle to replace its existing premises.
That new building will encompass a base for Mourne Mountain Rescue.
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It followed January's announcement of the retailer's intention to return to Dundonald after some eight years.
Lidl vacated its site there in 2012, subsequently leasing the premises on Dunlady Road to discounter B&M Bargains.
It's now planning a £7m investment in demolishing the existing building to make way for a new concept food store.
Lidl is also pressing ahead with a second outlet in Londonderry, at a site on Crescent Link in the Waterside.
Lidl said: "With 38 established stores employing more than 800 staff in locations across Northern Ireland, we're excited about the prospect of creating a new store at Holywood Exchange and to bringing our fresh, high quality, low price proposition to more customers across the east Belfast and North Down area."
The latest supermarket analysis from information service Kantar confirmed that Lidl continued to grow its market share during May.
It now has a bigger slice of spending here than it does in Britain - 5.9% compared to 5.8%. In contrast, there had been a slight fall in the market share locally of top three grocers Tesco, Sainsbury's and Asda.
The value of sales in Lidl had accelerated by 7% over the period, far outpacing growth by its competitors. However, its share of the market here is still below the 11.5% slice it enjoys in the Republic.
A public consultation event on the new store plan will take place at the Airport Road West retail park from 3-7pm on July 2.